'BoJack Horseman' top 10 most gut-wrenching episodes ever, including the deaths of his mother and fellow addict Sarah Lynn
Netflix’s animated show ‘BoJack Horseman’ is one of the most compassionate and empathetic works with regards to shows. The titular character goes through life battling depression, self-loathing, addiction and childhood trauma.
And while BoJack (Will Arnett) himself may not be a role-model for anyone -- he is, after all, a narcissistic drunk -- it is how the show deals with these issues, how it acknowledges and reconciles with problematic behavior, that makes it one of the most important works of our time.
All episodes of ‘BoJack Horseman’ teach you something or at least leave you thinking. But there are some episodes that stick with you, long after you’ve binge-watched it and moved on.
Here’s a list of the ten best episodes of all the 69 episodes so far.
10. Zoës and Zeldas
The fourth episode of the first season, ‘Zoës and Zeldas’ brings out BoJack’s insecurities. Despite his constant dismissal of his roommate Todd (Aaron Paul), one gets a sneak-peek at BoJack’s unwillingness to let Todd spread his wings and fly away. As Todd is on the verge of composing an impressive rock opera, BoJack secretly sabotages his attempts, only to make sure Todd is left without any ambition and thus stuck at his home.
9. Live Fast, Diane Nguyen
The fifth episode of season one, ‘Live Fast, Diane Nguyen’ concentrates less on BoJack and more on his friend and ghost-writer Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie). A shy and anxious person in the show so far, this episode delves deep into why Diane is who she is. Her family not only despises her for being smart but also doesn’t care for or understands her at all. It is also an episode where we see the compassionate side of BoJack.
8. The Amelia Earhart Story
Episode five of season five, this is one of the most visceral episodes of the show. The story, for a change, concentrates on Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), BoJack’s agent and on-again-off-again girlfriend.
Usually, Princess Carolyn is always in control. She may be exhausted but she never lets the world see her vulnerabilities. The episode is a series of flashbacks about her adolescence and her decisions that shaped her life as we know it. The episode provides a hard glance at Princess Carolyn. Despite her tough exterior, she is perhaps just as dysfunctional as the others.
7. Time’s Arrow
The 11th episode of the fourth season is undeniably one of the most harrowing episodes to sit through. It deals with BoJack’s mother Beatrice Horseman (Wendie Malick). We have always seen Beatrice as a tough woman and a terrible mother.
She’s never happy with BoJack, no matter how hard he tries to win her validation. She’s rude and has the air of a rich old snobbish woman (even though she’s a horse), who appreciates the separation of the classes. In ‘Time’s Arrow’, however, we see how her life (and that of her mother) led her to harden in such a manner.
6. Escape from L. A.
The 11th episode of season two, ‘Escape from L. A.’ sees BoJack at his ugliest. Not because he chooses to be a bad person, but because he is toxic no matter what he tries to do. It is also the manifestation of BoJack’s insecurities, his addictions and his carefree attitude towards doing the right thing. ‘Escape from L. A.’ sees BoJack burn perhaps his final hope of being normal in a world where everyone looks at him as a washed-up celebrity.
5. Fish Out of Water
The fourth episode of the third season of the show, 'Fish Out of Water' has largely been hailed as a masterpiece. The episode is reminiscent of Sophia Copolla's 'Lost in Translation' and follows a voiceless BoJack under the sea, trying to navigate his way forward. It's a visual treat.
4. That's Too Much Man!
It is the 11th episode of season three and has, perhaps, one of the most heart-breaking scenes in history -- the death of Sarah Lynn (Kristen Schaal), BoJack's former co-actor, love interest and partner in addiction. The episode ends with a thoroughly wasted BoJack staring at the stars in a planetarium. BoJack tells Sarah Lynn there's nothing to worry about. He nudges her and says her name multiple times, but Sarah Lynn never responds.
3. The Dog Days Are Over
Another instance when we dig into Diane's character is in the second episode of season five which sees a mid-divorce Diane trying to gain control of her life -- by escaping to Vietnam. But as she tries to find herself, she realizes her supposed roots have little to do with who she really is.
2. Stupid Piece of S**t
The sixth episode of the fourth season deals with BoJack's depression. After his mother and her nurse move into his house, we see BoJack's inner-monologue play out, as he berates himself for his choices and actions.
1. Free Churro
Another episode that has been called a masterpiece, the sixth episode of the fifth season, sees BoJack speak at his Mother's funeral. The entire episode consists of BoJack's eulogy, barring a few flashbacks. It is raw, it is painful and yet it is BoJack at his most vulnerable. 'Free Churro' is one episode that's difficult to revisit, even during binge-reruns.